Tramp pilot Scott McBride (Sterling Hayden) goes to meet a Mr. Rodriguez who has a mission for him in the South American jungle. Rodriguez turns out to be Cesar (Rodolfo Hoyos), an old enemy of Scotty's, who demands that Scotty fly him and his henchmen, on the lam on a robbery and murder charge, to a waiting ship on the other side of the continent. Scotty can't refuse as his young son is being held hostage on the waiting ship. He also finds out that he is getting involved in theft of $280,000 worth of gold bars. His plane is disabled by police fire and they crash land and have to trek across the country, with Scotty now a wanted criminal along with the rest of the gang.